About Me

 
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Photo Credit: Sasikumar Balasundaram

Photo Credit: Sasikumar Balasundaram

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, with a specialization in the religions of South Asia. My interdisciplinary historical work engages with inherited inequalities in South Asian, Sri Lankan, and Tamil pasts. My dissertation, titled “Schooling the Master: Caste Supremacy and American Education in British Ceylon, 1796–1855,” charts the entwining of caste, nation, and gender in nineteenth-century American missionary boarding schools in Ceylon. Between 2016 and 2017, I spent fourteen months conducting dissertation research in Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Peninsula on a U.S. Fulbright award, during which time I also led two British Library-funded archive search and digitization programs (EAP835/EAP971). Prior to my fieldwork, I spent several years studying Tamil and Sinhala, including a year in Madurai, India. I hold a BA in the comparative history of ideas (University of Washington, 2010), MAs in religion and South Asian studies (both Columbia, 2015), and an MPhil in religion (Columbia, 2016). Originally from Seattle, I am currently writing my dissertation from Toronto, Canada.

My curriculum vitae can be downloaded here.